Global Business of Soccer Recap

 

Here are some of the top stories from around the global soccer industry from last week…

 

Jack Warner and Sepp BlatterAnti-Terrorism Laws Will Bring FIFA Officials to Trial in U.S. (Business of Soccer)

In the history of world soccer, the U.S. has not made such an impact on the field as they have off of it.  A rapidly growing market, broadcasting, and sponsorships dollars all contribute greatly to the world’s game.  In the past three weeks the U.S. has contributed largely to understanding the legality of FIFA’s financial operations, or lack thereof.  FIFA, the international governing body of all things soccer, are beginning to answer to the long rumored allegations of corruption within the organization.

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Nike Just Do ItU.S. Probes Nike Payments Under Brazil Soccer Deal (Reuters)

U.S. authorities are examining payments made by Nike Inc under a 1996 soccer sponsorship deal with Brazil for possible evidence of wrongdoing by the company or others, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Although Nike has not been named or charged with any wrongdoing yet, the company was swept into the corruption scandal that engulfed soccer’s governing body FIFA when a U.S. indictment released last month described apparent kickback payments linked to a landmark 1996 Nike deal in Brazil.

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Manchester CityManchester and New York City Launch Landmark Deal (FC Business)

Manchester City FC and New York City FC have launched a new multi-year partnership with Digicel.

The Barclays Premier League Club and new Major League Soccer franchise will come together with the leading telecoms brand to create a wealth of multimedia content, as well as community coaching and once in a lifetime opportunities.

In a landmark new partnership, a first for either club in the region, Manchester City, New York City FC and Digicel will work together on a range of community initiatives, unique content interaction across broadcast, digital and mobile, promotional opportunities, VIP attendance at games at Yankee Stadium in New York to enjoy the MLS as well as at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester to enjoy Premier League games.

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Jerome-Valcke_8FIFA Scandal Forces Postponement of 2026 World Cup Bidding Process (World Football Insider) 

FIFA has postponed the 2026 World Cup bidding process amid the growing corruption scandal engulfing world football’s governing body.

Secretary general Jerome Valcke told a news conference in Samara, Russia that the bidding process had been suspended.

According to reports, he said it was a “nonsense” to launch the process amid FIFA’s current crisis. Separate corruption investigations are being conducted by the FBI and Swiss authorities into the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar.

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BOS_FIFAInterpol Suspends €20m FIFA Partnership (BBC)

Interpol has suspended a joint anti-match-fixing programme with Fifa over allegations of corruption against the football governing body.

The international police agency is freezing the €20 million (£14m) donated by Fifa in 2011 for the programme. The 10-year “Integrity in Sport” agreement was intended to combat match-fixing and illegal gambling. Fifa is under investigation by authorities in the US and Switzerland for alleged bribery and corruption.

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Adidas Brazuca 2014 World Cup BallFIFA Sponsors ‘Along for the Ride’ (Sports Business Journal)

As the FIFA brand staggered under the glare of a global corruption investigation last week, politicians and media pundits made a simple call to sponsors of the embattled soccer organization: Demand change or walk.

But sponsors are finding that real life is not so simple, especially not in the murky world of FIFA. While some suggested that corporate sponsors were a force behind the shocking departure of Sepp Blatter, the reality is that Blatter’s resignation is less about following the sponsorship money trail and more about the legal walls closing in on the 79-year-old leader.

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Blatter Steps DownSepp Blatter Reconsidering Resignation from FIFA Presidency (ESPN FC)

Sepp Blatter is considering staying on as FIFA president despite his resignation in early June, according to Swiss newspaper Schweiz am Sonntag.

The paper quoted an unnamed source close to Blatter as saying he “had received messages of support from African and Asian football associations” asking him to rethink his decision to step down.

Former FIFA governance adviser Michael Hershman had told ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap earlier this month that he was also uncertain that Blatter would walk away.

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UEFA LogoKonami Extends Rights Deal with UEFA (Soccerex)

Konami, the publisher and developer behind the popular Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) series of games, has agreed a new three-year deal with Uefa to retain exclusive rights to the Champions League and Europa League, as well as the European Super Cup.

The deal is an extension of the one originally signed in 2009, and gives Komani exclusive rights to the branding and iconography associated with Uefa’s biggest continental competitions.

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domenico scalaTop FIFA Official Says Blatter Must Not Renege on Promise to Quit (the guardian)

The head of Fifa’s audit and compliance unit, Domenico Scala, has underlined the need for a new president and for widespread reform in the wake of reports that the incumbent Sepp Blatter could try and stand again despite promising to quit.

Scala, who appeared alongside Blatter when he announced his departure, is understood to be adamant that he must keep his promise to stand down. “For me, the reforms are the central topic. That is why I think it is clearly indispensable to follow through with the initiated process of president’s change as it has been announced,” Scala said on Sunday.

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US SoccerWomen’s World Cup: USWNT Tie vs. Sweden Draws 4.5 million Viewers, Sets TV Records (Major League Soccer)

The US women’s national team can’t stop setting records – just not on the field.

FOX Sports announced on Saturday that the USWNT’s scoreless draw against Sweden in Group D action at the Women’s World Cup on Friday night drew an average TV audience of 4.5 million viewers, peaking at 6.4 million viewers.

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Reporting on the business side of the world's game.